Bitcoin ATMs dominate top 5 articles of 2021

It’s difficult to believe we are almost to the end of 2021, while many of us are still processing 2020. But through all these years, ATM Marketplace has continued to report on the banking and fintech industry. And for this year in particular, one topic rose above the rest to dominate the top most read articles: Bitcoin ATMs.

This is part of a series looking at the top stories of 2021 on ATM Marketplace.

It’s difficult to believe we are almost to the end of 2021, while many of us are still processing 2020. While COVID-19 variants and other events caused major global upheaval, ATM Marketplace was there in the trenches, reporting on what was going on in the banking and fintech industries. And for this year in particular, one topic rose above the rest to dominate the top most read articles: Bitcoin ATMs.

Our readers were keenly interested in both how to acquire a Bitcoin ATM and how to handle the regulations with the device. However, this wasn’t the only topic they were interested in. Other top stories looked at ATM cash supply chain and ATM metrics.

It’s time to take a look back at the top five most read articles of 2021. They are posted below in reverse order. You can click on the story titles to read the stories in full.

5. It’s time to rethink how we manage the cost of cash

According to the global research firm McKinsey & Company, the cost of cash — which represents 5–10% of a bank’s overall operating cost — is rising, even as the use of cash is declining.

According to Chris Chandler, CEO at Toronto-based Access Cash General Partnership, this means that “it’s time to rethink how we manage the cost of cash.”

“We believe that cash management is at a crossroads,” Chandler said in a presentation at the ATM Industry Association U.S. conference in late February. “Cash is going to be around for a long time. Banks therefore have to maintain cash services for customers. That’s what they do.”

4. 10 steps to improving your ATM metrics

Despite being nine years old, this story continues to make waves in ATM Marketplace with its critical advice for how to improve ATM metrics. The story shares a number of tips including:

  • Identify peak transaction times.
  • Identify ATMs that need an aggressive plan to minimize failed customer interactions.
  • Set a goal for FCI as a percentage of total transaction.
  • Overlay faults by day of week and time of day.
  • Overlay replenishments schedules onto peak transaction times and arrange replenishes prior to peaks.

3. The ABCs of bitcoin ATM regulation and compliance in the US

If you are planning to operate a bitcoin ATM business in the U.S. — where 60% of the world’s bitcoin ATMs are located — there’s a lot more to consider than simply buying a kiosk from General Bytes, Genesis Coin or Lamassu. You need to stay compliant, both on the federal level and the state level.

However, the cost and the work involved in staying compliant may be more than some bitcoin ATM operators bargain for, especially if they are only operating one or two kiosks, so it pays to do your homework. What follows is a rundown on the basics, but you may want to set up your business first, according to one lawyer.

“We recommend that you form a corporation or an LLC and have the nuts and bolts of operating as a business down before you start talking about the specifics of bitcoin ATM regulations,” Bill Repasky, a lawyer with Frost Brown Todd, a Louisville, Kentucky, law firm that provides legal counsel for bitcoin ATM operators, told ATM Marketplace in an interview.

When you are ready to roll, the federal level of regulations most directly applicable to bitcoin kiosk operators are spelled out in the Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA for short, a law requiring financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering.

2. Efficiency or responsiveness? How do you balance your ATM cash supply strategy?

The primary purpose for the existence of any supply chain is to satisfy customer needs and generate business profits — the cash supply chain is no an exception to this rule.

Businesses manage their ATM networks by providing cash where and when customers want it, but they must provide this service efficiently if they are to make a profit. An effectively managed cash supply chain must be efficient and responsive at the same time.

Responsiveness can be defined as the ability of the supply chain to respond purposefully and within an appropriate timeframe to customer requests or changes in the marketplace.

In contrast, a supply chain can be considered to be efficient if the focus is on cost reduction and no resources are wasted on non-value added activities. Balancing the conflict between these two dimensions is where the real challenges lie.

1. Buying a bitcoin ATM: Advice from an insider

Jon Weilbaker, general manager of New York ATM, knows ATMs. He knows which ones are a good fit for his customers and which ones are not. But as the pandemic hit and the sale and service of ATMs came to an almost a standstill, Weilbaker began researching different ideas to keep his business on track. That research led him in a new direction: bitcoin ATMs.

“I am intrigued by the [bitcoin ATM] business and met several of the big players at the ATMIA conference last February in Houston. And once the pandemic hit hard in March and April, none of my customers were buying new stores and no one wanted to talk ATMs, so I began looking at bitcoin ATMs. Plus, I hate walking into a store and seeing someone else’s Bitcoin ATM right next to my cash ATM. I want to be the guy who controls all the cash products for all my customers,” Weilbaker said.

Weilbaker began researching to determine what bitcoin ATMs covers in the payment system that cash ATMs don’t. After much research, Weilbaker purchased bitcoin ATMs and hoped the gamble would pay off as the pandemic continued to sweep the country. Apparently, it has.

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